The Habs were taking a risk when they put Noah Juulsen on waivers on Sunday and they were unsuccessful in sneaking him through as Florida claimed him on Monday. It was their second claim of a defenceman in as many days as they picked up Gustav Forsling from Carolina the day before.
Juulsen, a first-round pick of the Canadiens back in 2015, has dealt with vision and concussion issues for the past two seasons and was limited to 37 games over that span; only 13 of those came last season, all with Laval. He signed a one-year, two-way deal for the league minimum of $700,000 this offseason as a result. Given the lack of playing time, Bergevin likely figured teams may pass given that the Panthers will have to carry him on their NHL roster (he can’t be sent to the taxi squad without being re-waived).
To clear a common misconception, the Habs will not have first priority if Florida eventually re-waives Juulsen. Priority will be determined by reverse standings as it always is. If he is re-waived and Montreal is the only claiming team, then he could be sent to Laval or the taxi squad. Having said that, Florida’s back end has undergone considerable retooling in recent months and there could be a spot for him on their third pairing so that scenario doesn’t seem too plausible at this point.
The other eight players who were on waivers yesterday all cleared and can be assigned to either Laval or the taxi squad. Those are:
Goalie: Charlie Lindgren
Defencemen: Gustav Olofsson, Xavier Ouellet
Forwards: Brandon Baddock, Alex Belzile, Joseph Blandisi, Laurent Dauphin, Jordan Weal